Song: Fruit of the Spirit

For the Kid’s Choir Mother’s Day Musical “L.O.S.T. But Found” at Oak Creek Assembly of God 2010, the kids tell what The Fruit of the Spirit actually is. It is not a coconut, nor a banana, nor a watermelon. Everything except music done by Joshua Humpa. Sorry for the poor quality picture.

Paul’s Inspired Teachings on Marriage

Students of the New Testament frequently raise the question as to whether or not Paul was ever married. From the viewpoint of modern Latter-day Saints who understand that marriage and family are central to God’s plan of happiness, it seems logical to conclude that one who was called as a special witness of Christ (see Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 9:1; Galatians 1:1) would have lived in accordance with all of the gospel law and hence would have been married at some point. But from the New Testament record itself is there evidence that would support that conclusion? Yes. Let me suggest four compelling evidences.

First, Paul came from a Judaic background (see Acts 21:39; Romans 11:1) wherein marriage was viewed, traditionally, as a religious duty of utmost importance. According to an early delineation of the 613 precepts contained in the law of Moses, marriage was listed as the first. Customarily, Jewish men and women married between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, although some were as young as fourteen. It is likely that Paul would have wanted to comply with the traditional religious expectation of marriage. [2]

Second, Paul was a Pharisee (see Acts 23:6; Philippians 3:5), one of the strictest bodies of Judaism (see Acts 26:5), and prided himself in being a devout adherent to all of Jewish law. Tutored “at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,” Paul became, by his own admission, “zealous toward God” (Acts 22:3). In fact, Paul described himself as even “more exceedingly zealous” in fulfilling the requirements of the law than were his peers (Galatians 1:14). It seems plausible that Paul’s zealous determination to strictly obey the totality of the law would have extended to marriage. If Paul “lived unmarried as a Jerusalem Pharisee,” noted Frederic Farrar, “his case was entirely exceptional.” [3]

The Apostle Paul on Marriage and Singleness

Paul in particular doesn’t pull any punches in this regard: “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: it is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (I Corinthians 7:8, 9). The practical application seems plain: if you’re single and aren’t convinced that you have a clear calling to the celibate life, you should be thinking seriously about exploring the option of marriage.

.. We understand that singleness can be a good thing in many situations and for a number of different reasons. But we still believe that it’s the exception to the rule. This is the assumption underlying Paul’s entire discussion of the subject in I Corinthians 7. In this passage the apostle is careful to distinguish between commandments from the Lord and pronouncements based upon his own opinion (see vv. 8, 10, 12, 25). He also makes it clear that his ideas about the advantages of the single life are largely a response to the practical necessities of the immediate historical situation (i.e., persecution and hardship-see v. 26). Whatever else he may be saying, he is certainly not arguing that singleness is the “standard” for human life.